SA buys into World Cup clothing

Friday, June 4, 2010

Pretoria - With today marking the last Football Friday before kick-off of the World Cup, consumers are stretching their credit cards and cash to snatch up the continent's first World Cup clothing and regalia.

"Sales of T-shirts, tops and all merchandise related to the Soccer World Cup are selling very well. This goes for both official as well as T-shirts. This also goes for merchandise such as stickers relating to the World Cup sold at CNA," Steve Binnie chief financial officer of the Edcon group told BuaNews.

The Edcon group is a multi-brand retailer which owns stores like Edgars, Jet and CNA.

With six-days to go before the first match of the tournament between South Africa and Mexico, stores are seeing more and more people jostling for their soccer clothing and accessories like caps and vuvuzelas.

"People are buying South African soccer related items, as well as that of other countries, like Brazil," said Binnie, adding that the company had noticed that people were flocking to their stores, particularly on Football Fridays.

Divisional Director at Woolworths Brett Kaplan said customers are squarely behind the country.

"That's what we're seeing in stores. We anticipated this, based on research conducted over many months on previous World Cups and other major sporting events. Support for team South Africa stretches well beyond t-shirts," said Kaplan.

Stores selling world cup clothing cater for adults and children.

"The interest in World Cup related products has definitely been buoyed by the energy around the tournament, ticket sales, Football Fridays and other related initiatives certainly do generate further interest. Our own 'Play the world' marketing campaign featuring local and international icons has also made an impact and resonated," explained Kaplan.

Country specific supporter t-shirts range between R80 and R99.

Among other things supporters can buy to show their support are supporter packs which contain a vuvuzela, a facepaint kit, keychain and a raincoat and waterproof blanket which is available at Woolworths for R199.

James Monteith, director at BMI-Sport Info, which is the first and only, independent research company in South Africa to focus exclusively on the sport and sponsorship market, said that people were getting into the spirit of the tournament.

"Cars are driving around sporting the national flag, personally I have been tracking that for the past two months and I see the number growing," he said.

Monteith added that as more teams arrive into the country for the World Cup, more people are still going to buy World Cup related clothing.

"If our team drops off (from the tournament) people are likely to buy other supporter clothing like Brazil followed by England," said Montheith.